Jews & Mon­ey: The Sto­ry of a Sterotype

  • Review
By – September 26, 2011

Abra­ham Fox­man, the nation­al direc­tor of the Anti-Defama­tion League (ADL) describes this book as a jour­ney to explore the rela­tion­ship of stereo­types about Jews and mon­ey to realities.” 

As we join him on this jour­ney, we are remind­ed about cen­turies-old prej­u­dices and shown how con­tra­dic­to­ry they often are. Our tour begins in bib­li­cal times and takes us to the present where we encounter Bernie Mad­off and Louis Far­rakhan as well as oth­ers who fan the flames of anti-Semi­tism, par­tic­u­lar­ly dur­ing times of eco­nom­ic hardship.

Fox­man warns his read­ers that giv­en the pow­er of the inter­net, TV, and mass com­mu­ni­ca­tion in gen­er­al, every­one has a mega­phone” and is thus able to rapid­ly spread the poi­son of anti-Semi­tism through­out the world. More­over, he warns that much of socalled Jew­ish humor,” while often pre­tend­ing to be self-dep­re­cat­ing, is not so fun­ny” after all and actu­al­ly rein­forces neg­a­tive stereotypes. 

Final­ly, the author calls on us all not to remain silent in the face of prej­u­dice and shows us ways in which we can active­ly fight against it.

Peter L. Roth­holz head­ed his own Man­hat­tan-based pub­lic rela­tions agency and taught at the Busi­ness and Lib­er­al Arts (BALA) pro­gram at Queens Col­lege. He lives in East Hamp­ton, NY and San­ta Mon­i­ca, CA and is a fre­quent con­trib­u­tor to Jew­ish publications.

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